The purpose of this study is to systematically review and analyze disasters involving South Korean hospitals from 1990 and to introduce a newly developed implement to manage patients' evacuation.
Materials and Methods
We searched for studies reporting disaster preparedness and hospital injuries in South Korean hospitals from 1990 to 2008, by using the Korean Studies Information Service System (KISS, copyright Korean Studies Information Co, Ltd, Seoul, Korea) and, simultaneously, hospital injuries which were reported and regarded as a disaster. Then, each study and injury were analyzed.
Five studies (3 on prevention and structure, 1 on implement of new device, and 1 on basic supplement to current methods) and 8 injuries were found within this period. During the evacuations, the mean gait speed of walking patients was 0.82 m/s and the mean time of evacuation of individual patients was 38.39 seconds. Regarding structure evaluation, almost all hospitals had no balconies in patient rooms; hospital elevators were placed peripherally and were insufficient in number. As a new device, Savingsun (evacuation elevator) was introduced and had some merits as a fast and easy tool, regardless of patient status or the height of hospital.
In South Korea, preparation for hospital disasters was noted to be insufficient but has involved various departments such as architectural, clinical, and building operations. In addition, Savignsun has been shown to effectively evacuate and save patients in a hospital disaster.